E-Commerce Times Calls 17" PowerBook A "True Desktop Replacement"

E-Commerce Times has wrapped up an extended three-month look at Appleis 17" PowerBook G4. The author notes that while most press has focused on the hardware aspect of the machine such as the aluminum enclosure, the 17" screen, and the PowerPC 7455 G4 processor, the operating system is what really makes the machine shine. The review goes on to give a detailed look at the hardware specifications and how it compares to other Apple notebooks such as the 12" PowerBook, and how the 17" PowerBook can easily be used as a replacement for the standard desktop computer. From E-Commerce Times:

The result is a portable computer that really can be used as a desktop replacement. While sporting fewer ports than either G4 desktops or the upcoming G5 Power Mac, the 17-inch PowerBookis two USB ports and two Firewire connections compare favorably with those all-frills unportables.

The plethora of network connections ensures there are three ways to share files between two computers in close physical proximity. You can connect them over an Ethernet cable, establish a Bluetooth short-range wireless connection, or use one computer to create a Wi-Fi network that other computers within range can join. (You also can connect PowerBooks over Firewire, which is actually faster than any of the other methods.) Of the three main approaches, Bluetooth was the simplest to set up and delightfully easy to use. With just a couple of keystrokes, a user can send a file or collection of files wirelessly to another PowerBook nearby.

The computeris faster memory and processor meant I was able to use all the documents and Web pages sailing over those connections. I tested a unit on loan from Apple with 1 GB of DDR RAM, the maximum. (A company called Trans International now sells memory chips that will let you boost maximum RAM to 2 GB.) The result was an extremely responsive system that allowed me to simultaneously work on spreadsheets in Excel, surf several open windows of Web pages, browse an inbox packed with messages, scan documents with my Canon scanner, read PDF files, burn movies and data to the built-in SuperDrive and search through files on disk, all while listening to iTunes.

You can read the full review at E-Commerce Timesi Web site.